After teetering on the brink of implosion the UCI think-tank's ProTour is gradually stepping back from the edge as cycling's governing body and the Grand Tour organisers compromise on a solution to the three year-old battle. Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez spoke with Unipublic's Victor Cordero to discuss the needs, problems and possible solutions of the ProTour issue.
As the Vuelta a España's director, Victor Cordero is among the most powerful men in world cycling. While the Spanish tour sits clearly behind the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in status, Unipublic's position in the Grand Tour alliance is unquestionably one of influence.
In February Unipublic stood behind Tour de France organiser ASO in its refusal to allow Unibet.com to compete in its Grand Tour. Just over a month later, the message is still the same, although the line had softened subtly.
"Unibet is not in our plans, but fortunately, as we are not forced by the rules to give the wildcards on March 1 like last year, we can wait up to three months, until the end of May, begin of June [before we decide. The last word it is not yet said," noted Cordero. "If Unibet has all its legal problems solved, if it improves the performances and conditions of the other six candidates…it is not Unibet alone, we have six candidatures for riding the Vuelta a España. We will make the decision mainly based on sporting criteria. Up to today, I don't see Unibet in the Vuelta."
Cordero went on to outline the outcomes of last week's emergency meeting between the Grand Tour organisers, the UCI and IPCT in Brussels, saying: "What we have decided last Monday is that our 18-team offer, that the 18 teams have accepted, is still valid. Astana as well as Unibet go to the races with wildcards. They are wildcards, race organisers are free to decide about them."
Read the full interview with Victor Cordero.